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Google Nest software unit merging with OhmConnect

Illustration of a thermostat with a dollar sign in place of the temperature

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Energy management startup OhmConnect is combining with a Google Nest division to form a new company.

Driving the news: OhmConnect investor Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP) said the startup has struck a deal with Google's Nest Renew service to merge the entities and form a new company called Renew Home.

Details: Renew Home will combine OhmConnect's home energy management platform with Google Nest's energy products and services for its thermostats that help customers prioritize cheaper and cleaner energy.

  • This combined entity will power the Nest Renew service going forward, SIP said in a press release.
  • Financial terms of the transaction and other details of the merger were not disclosed.

Catch up fast: The demand response software at the core of this deal lets a utility remotely dial back a customer's smart thermostat, EV charger or other device. That frees up capacity on the grid, and customers get compensated for opting in.

  • Virtual power plants build on this idea: startups like OhmConnect bundle together all the capacity they can get from a bunch of smart thermostats, battery systems and other devices — then sell it to a utility, which would otherwise have to pay a gas power plant to fire up.

Of note: SIP said it will invest $100 million in the new company and that it plans to sign contracts with utilities to provide capacity from the company's virtual power plant networks.

  • The closing of the agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, SIP said.

Between the lines: Sidewalk is a spinout of Google's parent company, Alphabet.

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